Thanks to the replays at Hulu.com, I’m catching up on the NBC series, The Event. Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD!
‘The Event’ is trying to be the next ‘LOST’, and uses the same non-linear storytelling, which can be annoying at best. At worst, constant flashes backward, forward, and sideways can disorient the viewer and leave us all ‘lost’.
With three episodes under its belt, let’s take a look at just what ‘the event’ is all about.
Sophia Maguire (Laura Innes): she seems to have secret knowledge. Sophia (Sofia) is the Greek goddess of ‘wisdom’. This character is shown in the opening episode in shackles. She is an alien who has been living as a ‘human’ since 1944.
President Elias Martinez (Blair Underwood): Martinez learns of the ‘alien’ presence shortly after inauguration, and he decides to reveal it to the American people. The assassination attempt (plane crashing into DC) stops this ‘official disclosure’.
Sean Walker (Jason Ritter): Sean is a computer genius (is he human?) who is engaged to Leila Buchanan, the daughter of Michael Buchanan. Sean boards Flight 514 to stop Michael, but the plane disappears before hitting DC. Sean escapes the crash site when Michael reveals the plot and orders Sean to ‘run’! His last name is ironic, since Walker spends most of his time so far running.
Michael Buchanan (Scott Patterson): Pilot of the plane that nearly crashes into DC. Buchanan’s wife has been killed by the shadow operatives holding Leila and her sister captive. He agrees to crash Flight 514 to keep his daughters alive.
Blake Sterling (Zeljko Ivanek): Director of National Intelligence
Leila Buchanan (Sarah Roehmer): Sean’s missing girlfriend who was taken on board their cruise ship and is now being held in a cargo container.
Simon Lee (Ian Anthony Dale): A CIA operative who is also an alien. His character is likable, and he’s put in charge of finding the plane and passengers.
Vicky Roberts (Taylor Cole): Sean and Leila met her on the cruise, and she is holding Leila captive.
THE PLOT SO FAR:
As the President is about to unveil the truth about aliens living in the US, Flight 514 dives toward Washington, aimed right at the president. Without any explanation, the plane disappears over DC. In episode 2, we learn that a massive EMP was recorded during ‘the event’. Flight 514 reappears in a desert region (Arizona, near Yuma).
Meanwhile, in Washington, the president learns more about the ‘aliens’. In 1944, an aircraft of undeclared origin crashed in Alaska. 97 survivors were apprehended. These survivors were ‘not of terrestrial origin’. The photo makes them look ‘very much like us’. Differences: small variations in circulatory system. They age at much slower rate. Sophia is one of these ‘survivors’. Their DNA varies from ours by 1%. This is important, since well known PBS scientist (NAME) is on record as stating that any species that varies from us by only 1% would be as superior to us as we are to chimps. (Humans 2.0)
The ‘alien black ops’ clean up the crash site and protect it from discovery with a chemical spill story. The aliens made the plane disappear, and according to a conversation between Lee and a fellow ‘alien’, the passengers are to ‘be used’–when Lee arrives on scene, he finds them all dead.
Sean makes it to a Yuma hospital, but he’s soon taken into FBI custody. The FBI agents (plus Sean) crash their car just over the ridge from the Flight 541 site, and Sean escapes with the female agent. Slowly, he convinces her that he’s telling the truth, and she kills one of the ‘black op’ agents in an office firefight meant to silence Sean.
Leila is slapped around by Vicky in the cargo container.
So, who was behind the assassination attempt? The aliens or the humans? The Vice-President Raymond Jarvis certainly seems a likely candidate. Played by Bill Smitrovitch, he has a Dick Cheney gravitas.
Three episodes in, the writing is moderately interesting, and the characters mildly so. The one thing that will keep me watching is the underlying Human 2.0 theme along with ‘aliens among us’. Being able to watch the episodes with little commercial interruption and on demand makes a difference. NBC has also designed an interactive experience at the show’s website that allows viewers to dig into the clues. Will I make the appointment to watch it during its broadcast time slot next Monday? Nope. The good thing is that networks are catching onto viewers’ habits and on demand preferences. I’ll be clicking on Hulu next week when I’ll write a bit more about The Event’s media ‘memes’.